Google launches new security and privacy features to mark Safer Internet Day

Google Chrome icon on mobile

Google is using today's Safer Internet Day to announce a number of new security and privacy initiatives.

Among these are new ways to fill out passwords easily and securely in Chrome, more privacy protection for the Google app, improvements to Google Password Manger, and an expansion of SafeSearch to protect against explicit images.

Password Manager, which is built into Chrome and Android, gains the option to use biometric authentication -- to verify that it's you -- before filling your saved password. This feature can also be used to securely reveal, copy or edit saved passwords. The Google App for iOS will get Face ID to protect the privacy of thee app, so that if someone has your device they won’t be able to open it and gain access to your data.

SafeSearch filtering is already on by default for signed-in users under the age of 18, but soon a new setting will blur explicit imagery if it appears in search results when SafeSearch filtering isn't turned on. This setting will be the new default for people who don't already have the SafeSearch filter turned on, with the option to adjust settings at any time.

Today also sees the launch of YouTube Kids playlist 'Build a Safer Internet’. The playlist will feature content that raises awareness about the safe, responsible, and positive use of technology for families. With child-friendly tips and songs on internet safety and resources to talk about mindful screen time, these videos are meant to help parents and families navigate the digital world. Google is also partnering with the National Parent Teacher Association in the US to sponsor local Be Internet Awesome events for parents and families at 50 school campuses plus four regions across the country.

Google already blocks a high proportion of phishing attempts and encourages the use of multi-factor authentication. It's stepping up its anti-phishing efforts in 2023 by committing to providing 100,000 Titan Security Keys to individuals at the highest risk of targeted attacks at no cost. Journalists and politicians are often at risk of having their accounts targeted and Google is partnering with the International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES), to provide free security training and tools to those most under threat.

You can read more about these launches on the Google blog.

Image credit: BigTunaOnline / Shutterstock

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